The announcer’s voice booms out across the gardens. “Ladies and Gentlemen. Flora and Fauna. Members of the Garden Community.”
The plants, the critters, the bugs and the birds all wait with rapt attention. The tension in the air is so thick you could cut it with a machete. This is it! The moment is at hand.
“It is my honor and pleasure to announce the medalists for the 2014 Garden Games. The winners of the 2014 Summer Olympics.” The announcer pauses for a moment and savors the silence of the crowd, the tension.
“Receiving the bronze medal is Gloriosa Daisy.” A huge cheer erupts. The crowd releases their communal tension in one big raucous hoorah. They applaud their friend, Gloriosa Daisy.
The pre-season favorite who got caught in a tangle of amazing competition, Gloriosa steps forward and graciously accepts his medal. He shows nary a hint of disappointment. Quite the opposite, Gloriosa appears to be thrilled. Gloriosa is a born leader, a plant full of charm, charisma and character. Gloriosa understands to the depth of his flowered soul that not only is this is a time to be gracious, but also a time to celebrate the fact that someone else won. A true leader wishes the best for his companions. Gloriosa appears to be genuinely thrilled with the Bronze Medal. He accepts the award with a hearty smile as the crowd cheers wildly for their friend.
The announcer cuts off the cheers by boldly proclaiming, “And the silver medal is awarded to…” The tension momentarily skyrockets. All is still and silent. Even the bumblebees stop buzzing… “Sunflower.”
This is affirmation. Sunflower did not need to win the Gold Medal. Oh no. She is entirely satisfied with the Silver Medal. She would have been happy with Bronze. All she wanted was to hear her name called out and stand on that podium. To think of the humiliation she suffered just a short while ago. She wanted this. She wanted to show the garden that she could do it. She wanted the other flowers to hear her name and know that they must accept her as a legitimate bloomer.
She wanted to show the birds that she was more than just birdseed. Love them as she may, she wanted the birds to know that she is more than just a means for them to survive the winter, thank you very much!
She wanted to step up and accept her award, knowing that here, now, in this moment, everyone is looking at her and cheering for her. Her! Sunflower!
The announcer lets the cheers continue for a long time. Whoops and hollers rebound throughout the garden for several minutes as Sunflower absorbs the affirming moment.
“Ladies and Gentlemen. Flora and Fauna. Flower lovers everywhere. It is my most sincere pleasure to announce the big winner of the 2014 Summer Olympics. The Gold medal for the Garden Games is awarded solely and exclusively to….. Poppy.”
Poppy accepts her award and waves cheerfully to the exuberant crowd. This is her moment.
Being one big, garden community, there are no national anthems to be played. The tradition here is that the winner of the Gold Medal says a few words, preferably in verse, and Poppy knows just what to say. Poppy beams to her friends and admirers as she shares with them the words she said when she first began blooming this year.
“Poppy says Hello. Poppy says I’m free. Poppy says you know, I’m happy to be me. I’m fuzzy and I’m furry. I’m crinkly as can be. If you have a worry, just take a look at me.”
The crowd goes wild!